Reserving Funding

As a smaller employer, who does not pay the apprenticeship levy, you can reserve funds in the ‘finance’ section of your apprenticeship service account. You can also give your training provider permission to reserve them on your behalf.

What you’ll need

You will need to know: 

  • which apprenticeship standard the apprentice will be doing 
  • what month the apprenticeship training will start

Before the apprentice starts their training, you can change the apprenticeship start date and standard. 

When you can use reserved funds

The reserved funds are available to use from the month of the planned apprenticeship start date. The reservation period has been extended from April 2021 to six months, and any reservation will expire at the end of the 6th month if you do not use it.


You choose June as the apprenticeship training start date. The funding reservation is valid for June through to November, and expires on 1 December.

To stop the reserved funds from expiring, you need to add apprentice details. 

Funding status 

There are three funding statuses:

  • active - you’ve reserved funds, but have not added or saved the apprentice’s details (if you can see ‘add apprentice details’ in your account, then the reservation is ‘active’) 
  • used – you’ve reserved funds and added the apprentice’s details 
  • expired – you did not add or save the apprentice’s details to a reservation within the six months that the reservation covers

Previously you could only have a combination of up to three ‘active’ or ‘used’ reservations at any time. In July 2020, this was increased to ten (10) 'active' or 'used' reservations per smaller employer account for the 2020-21 year. From 1 April 2021, all non-levy employer reservation levels were re-set to zero, enabling each employer who does not pay the Apprenticeship Levy to make up to 10 new reservations to fund new starts in the financial year 2021-22.

If you choose to reserve funds for your apprenticeship training, you will be required to make a 5% co-investment towards the overall cost of the training unless your apprentice is aged 16-18 (or 19-24 with an EHCP) and you have fewer than 50 employees.